No one will deny that Facebook is a platform that enables users to interact in many ways. We discuss states, we got photos, send friend requests… and we expect others to do the same. But, to what degree it expresses the reciprocity in Facebook?
A study published today suggests that the average user of Facebook receives more than it gives, in terms of more messages, more friend requests and more “likes”.
The study has been carried out by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, in November 2010 examined the activity of 269 users (with their consent), identified through a telephone survey random on more general issues related to the Internet.
The activity of these users yielded the following data:
- 40% of users made a friend request, but 63% received at least one
- On average, users clicaron the “like” button 14 times, but its content received an “I like” from other users by an average of 20 times
- Users sent 9 personal messages, but received 12
- 12% of users tagged to other users in a photo, but 35% of them were labeled by other users
Thus, the asymmetry between what the individuals in the sample gave and what they received on the platform was clear. What explains this fact? According to the authors, two factors:
In the first place, it seems that there are groups of power users who contribute much more content than the average user. These users constitute 20-30% of total users.
In the second place, there would be different power users depending on the activity: one group would dominate the activity of creating friends; others would be more assets to be valuated with the button “I like” other content; finally, others would be more active in the labelling of photos.
Another of the interesting results are mentioned in the study is that, in the examined sample, the authors found no evidence of a decline in the activity associated with the amount of time that users were using the platform. Rather to the contrary:
the more frequently he/she makes status updates, uses the “like” button, comments on friends’ content, and tags friends in photos. Similarly, the more Facebook friends someone has, the more frequently they contribute all forms of Facebook content and the more friend requests they tends to send and accept
And this absence of decline in activity is not strange, if we consider another finding: users who received more friend requests tended to express that they received greater support or social assistance from their friends, both on and offline.
In short, thanks to these power users seems to be on Facebook is all a pleasure….